Is Rhode Island One Of The Most Racist Places In The US?

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A new study makes some interesting claims.

America’s hotbeds of anti-black racism are The South, the rural Northeast…and Rhode Island? According to a study based on Google search terms, Rhode Island ranks with southern Alabama and Mississippi with its racism.

Most Racist Places In America


The research uses Google search terms, rather than surveys, because most racists in this day and age know enough not to tell people they don’t know about their racial prejudices. They will, apparently, punch the “n-word” into Google search like it’s going out of style.

Internet searches are usually a private affair, so people will let loose with whatever they want to see, without regard for how it might reflect on them.

So, going by the search terms, those living in the Rhode Island media market area are really racist, especially compared to our neighbors in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The study is titled “Association between an Internet-Based Measure of Area Racism and Black Mortality” and after it established this Internet search-based map of which defined the severity of racism in given areas, the researchers examined black mortality rates and determined that more racism resulted in shorter lives for African-Americans.

Unfortunately, the study doesn’t go into specific areas, so the Rhode Island race-relation situation remains somewhat unexplained.

With such things, it’s always important to check a second source, and we’ve do that here with a map created by Humboldt State University which measures the rates of different slurs on Twitter.

Tweet Hatred


According to this map, there is racism present, but Rhode Island isn’t quite a boiling cauldron of racial hatred that the first study indicates. Or Rhode Island racists are smart enough to keep that crap on the DL when they’re tweeting about “chowda” and “stuffies” and “#TomBrady”. Or they’re just not on Twitter, because we know a lot of people in Rhode Island who can’t grasp Twitter and there’s a decent overlap between those who would be tossing slurs around the Twitterverse. (Unlike a bunch of Bruins fans)

Ultimately, we’re guessing that to get an accurate bearing of how racist Little Rhody is in comparison to other parts of the country, a more holistic, multi-pronged approach will be required. There are, unfortunately, graver indicators of racism in an area than what slurs the residents are using. Baltimore is in a “less-than-average” DMA according to the first study’s map, but race issues are clearly worse there than what we’ve seen in Rhode Island.

(h/t Washington Post)

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Geospatial Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?